Don't axe the ASCOs
Response from Hampshire County Council, March 2014
Hampshire County Council is facing difficult financial challenges through continuing cuts in Government funding and increasing costs in looking after more elderly people and children who need our help.
Over the last three years we have made £100m of budget savings. This has been achieved in a number of ways, including services reducing their budgets by 18%. We now need to make a further £93m of savings and all services have to find further budget reductions.
It is simply not possible to continue to slice budgets while maintaining services and we have to make some extremely difficult decisions about our services.
The County Council set up the Accredited Community Safety Officer Service (ACSO) ten years ago when the Chief Constabulary, at that time, was opposed to having a similar service in the Police. But that situation has changed and there are now over 330 Police Community Safety Officers operating across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight whilst we have 36 ACSOs.
In the light of all these factors, we have had to make some very difficult choices – one of which is to cease providing the ACSO Service at the end of 2014.
We are working closely with our partners such as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hythe and Dibden Parish Council and Totton and Eling Town Council, to see whether some locally sponsored posts can be set up.
Assistant Director - Culture, Communities and Business Services